Obesity gene hysteria

Two new studies, just published online in JAMA Pediatrics, may have us fired up yet again about the genetic variation to blame for obesity.

I am not refuting the value in these new studies. The editorialist very appropriately notes that early identification of genetic vulnerability to weight gain might allow for very early implementation of prevention strategies, so that obesity does not develop in the first place.

But do we really need maps of our kids’ genomes to take such action? We have pandemic childhood obesity right now — meaning legions of kids around the world are vulnerable to weight gain, whatever their genes. And yet, we routinely feed them junk. Can we really justify the lunacy of a culture that studies genes looking for variation in satiety responses, while engineering foods to undermine satiety responses?

Read the full, original story: Gills, Pills and Obesity Genes

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